Increase in tourist numbers, flights to Kashmir cannot be called normality: Omar


National Conference Deputy Speaker Omar Abdullah said on Friday that the Modi government had failed to bring peace to Kashmir and that the increase in tourist numbers and multiple flights to the valley could not be qualified signs of normality.

Speaking to the media at the party headquarters here, he said: “No one feels safe amid targeted killings. The state of fear is such that Pandit employees are ready to quit their jobs and flee Kashmir.

The former J&K CM said the Valley Peace Center’s claims were “false and baseless”.

“Thefts and tourists are not (signs of) normality. Normalcy is when there is no fear or terror,” he added.

Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed protests by Kashmiri pundits since the murder of community member and government employee Rahul Bhat by terrorists in his office in Budgam’s Chadoora last week.

He said Kashmiri Pandit employees had met with leaders of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) seeking justice.

“We are sorry that innocent people are being killed one after another. Minorities are targeted. Police officers are shot and civilians are trapped in the crossfire,” he said.

Questioning the government on its assertion that the situation will return to normal after the removal of Article 370, he said: “More than two years have passed, where is the improvement in the situation? Today people do not feel safe in Kashmir.

He said terrorism was returning to places that had previously been cleared of terrorists, especially Srinagar and its adjoining areas.

Responding to a question about the loudspeaker ban in Jammu, he said the authorities should take a middle course so that the feelings of the community are not hurt.


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